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ENS | Vijayawada | Oct 2, 2017 :: In a first of its kind, Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam+, atop Indrakeeladri hill, witnessed a heavy devotee influx on Vijaya Dasami, the 10th day of the Dasara festivities on Saturday.
According to the temple authorities, the number of devotees who turned out to have darshan of the presiding deity adorned as ‘Sri Raja Rajeswari Devi’ on Vijaya Dashami festival was around 3.30 lakh in a span of 22 hours period.
Temple executive officer A Surya Kumari claimed that a turnout of devotees was higher than Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) in a single day. The devotees were allowed to have darshan from 3 am after performing the special rituals in the temple and darshan continued till 1 am, the next day, she added.
A ‘Poornahuti’ was performed by the priests at ‘yaaga saala’ near Nataraja Swamy temple on the hillock to mark the conclusion of the 10-day Dasara festivities. Surya Kumari, along with her family members, participated in the ritual. Amidst chanting of Vedic hymns, temple priests offered a silk saree, sandalwood pieces, ghee, flowers and fruits to the ‘homam.’
‘Aaseerwachanam’ (blessing) was given to the temple officials and staff. Earlier, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, along with Minister for IT Nara Lokesh had darshan of the Goddess and prayed for the well-being of Telugu speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Film actor and Hindupur MLA Nandamuri Balakrishna and AP DGP N Sambasiva Rao and among others had darshan of the goddess on the last day of the festivities. Surya Kumari thanked the revenue, the police and other departments for extending their cooperation to make the event a grand success.
“There was an increase of about 2 lakh pilgrims this year, compared to last year. Over 10, 22,492 ‘laddus’ were sold during the last 10 days and a stock of 1.5 lakh ‘laddus’ was available at the counters on Sunday morning. Medical camps were arranged at all the bathing ghats and medicines were distributed to devotees who complained of fever and body pain,” she said.